Barium Swallow Test Results; New Crohn’s Medications; College Rejection Letter; Track

The barium swallow test, referred to here and here, didn’t give a clear reason for the symptoms I’m having, so in a couple of weeks I will be writing a post called What It’s Like to Have an Endoscopy. Edward has had one, and he was unconscious for it and woke up feeling happy; I have hopes for same.

Speaking of Edward, we are indeed changing his Crohn’s medications. His new one has to be given by IV, and it takes several hours each time. This makes me feel leveled-up anxiety about the whole medication, that it is administered like this. It makes me think of cancer treatments. I am trying to focus instead on how this hospital is just LOADED with Pokéstops. When I was waiting for him during his MRI, there were two within reach of the waiting room. I will hope that that is the case for wherever we’ll be sitting during the IV. Also, he is going to LOVE this new treatment: each time, he’ll have to miss a whole day of school and play on a phone for several hours, and we’ll probably end up going out for lunch.

Rob got a rejection letter from one of his top two college choices. He seems to be handling it okay: of his top two, it was definitely second choice. But I worry that this doesn’t bode well for the other top-choice college. For ME, I am not worried: he has acceptances to several other colleges that I think might actually be better choices for him than his top choice. But for HIM, I’m worried he’ll be very disappointed. At his age I hadn’t yet gotten the message about how sometimes things you want don’t work out and that ends up being BETTER in the long run.

Elizabeth is trying to decide whether or not to do track. For many reasons, I would rather she didn’t: it is incredibly time-consuming, not just for her but for me, and involves tons of figuring out how I am going to drive her here or there when I also need to be somewhere else with one of the other kids at the same time—not to mention sitting around at endless track meets. And there are other reasons I hope she DOES do it: my kids never want to do sports, and that sometimes gives me a low, humming anxiety about their normality and/or my parenting. Plus, what if she loves it? It’s so fun when a kid finds something they love. And with track, it could mean a life-long running hobby. But I CANNOT BELIEVE how much time a sport takes up and how much parental involvement is expected. And she can’t even run a mile at this point, while the other kids trying out for track have been doing other sports and can run three miles while still breathing casually through their noses. But she’d shape up quickly with the INCREDIBLY HUGE NUMBER OF PRACTICES. And better to join NOW in 6th grade, when there are probably other kids new to it as well. And if she doesn’t like it, it’s only a few months. Buuuuut…she’s only been to three pre-season practices and is already saying she’s getting pretty tired of them, and that seems like a bad sign.

I don’t know what she should do, and I am trying not to influence her one way or the other because I really don’t KNOW, but I suspect my conflicting preferences for her to both DO it and NOT do it exude from me like a clinging mist, making the decision even harder. At this point I guess I hope she DOES do it, since “wondering if I discouraged her from doing something she wanted to do / should have done” would feel worse than “wondering how we are going to fit this COLOSSAL INCONVENIENCE AND TIME-SUCK into our lives.”

33 thoughts on “Barium Swallow Test Results; New Crohn’s Medications; College Rejection Letter; Track

  1. Kathi A.

    Not sure if the medication you are talking about is Remicade, but my mom is a Remicade infusion nurse and LOVES her job. She gets to know her patients really well. I would be happy to pass along any questions you might have, she’s been doing this for a long time now.

    1. Chris

      I have a good friend who has been on Remicade for Crohn’s for a long time. It is a pain to make time for the infusions, but small price to pay for health.

  2. LeighTX

    My daughter (ulcerative colitis sufferer) was on an infusion medication for a while and it wasn’t so bad. The nurses were very sweet, there was a television right at her chair where she could watch movies, and the procedure itself was relatively painless except for the initial stick.

    As for track: I never participated in sports but my younger daughter is athletic like her dad, so entering the world of sport with her was an adventure for me. I like sitting with the other parents, and cheering for her, and I always volunteer in the concession stand because as it turns out I’m kind of good at food service. :P Getting her to and from games and practices isn’t always easy but I trade off sometimes with other parents and it works out okay.

  3. Tommie

    My eighth grader just started her second year of track. She didn’t love it last year but stuck with it and her one win boosted her confidence so much that she decided to do it again this year. She definitely likes it better this year, since she’s a vet of the sport and knows the pain of conditioning only lasts a few days. Of course, at this age, they ‘condition’ quickly.

    But the time suck of meets…yikes. Last year it was SOOOO cold, as in miserably cold for all but maybe one meet. That sucked for both her and for me (and all the other parents sitting around NOT running.)

    In the end, I understand both sides of what you’re feeling but also think leaning toward wanting her to do it is probably the right way to go.

  4. dayman

    Encourage her to do it!

    She will make new friends AND you will quickly find many parents who also don’t want to be constantly driving to practice and you can set up carpools. Like within a few weeks I bet. And if she hates it, then you never have to do it again.

  5. Kara

    It’s not track, but my oldest and youngest play club soccer, and that’s a total time suck as well. Youngest also does gymnastics and wants to move up to the competitive level, and OMG NO. Club soccer – we’re at the practice fields from 5-8 twice a week, and then games on Saturdays can be anywhere in a 60 mile radius from our house, but generally they’re right at noon, 40 miles apart from each other. And then there’s tournament weekends… I love that they love the sport, but oh so much time. Next year the youngest is going to have to pick between gymnastics and soccer, and I know that gymnastics is going to win out and my travel commitments will be so much more intense. Middle kid hates sports, so she doesn’t go anywhere.

  6. HKS

    My mom is on Remicade for Crohn’s and I’m sure it’s different for a kid but she does fine with it. The nurses at the center are all great. She does get cold while they’re doing it so she wears warm clothes but they also give her a blanket. It usually takes a week or two for her to feel the full effects and then she has a really good few weeks. I suggested she listen to audiobooks but she usually falls asleep.

  7. Kristin H

    My daughter took up swimming this year and I was verrrrry reluctant to have her do so, because of the money and the time, omg the time. And the travel meets. And practice 4-6 times a week, which disrupt our family dinners. But, it has turned out okay. She really loves it and she’s good at it, and I’m happy to see her gaining confidence, meeting her goals, and getting so much exercise. She’s tired every single night. If she didn’t love it, and if I had to drag her to practice, it would be a different story. But she goes willingly and happily every night, so it’s okay.

  8. Ess

    Is quitting halfway through the season an option? I played a variety of sports in Jr. / High School and quit a few. My parents were laid back about all extracurriculars and basically said of you aren’t having fun- go ahead and quit. It was very easy for me to try new sports/clubs/activities because I didn’t feel pressured to suffer through it if I hated it. I think I only quit one half way through the season.

  9. Susan

    My daughter wasn’t in sports but she was in marching band, which is very similar in time commitment (and physical activity!). Practices nearly every night, plus weekends, and then competitions every weekend, culminating in competitions many states away. I loved being a part of it all, the parents were so great and, as another mom said to me once, “this is as close as you can get to picking your kid’s friends.” I think that’s true of a sport, theater, any “tribe” especially when they get to high school. It’s so valuable to have a group that looks out for the others and makes kids feel included. They don’t even care much about the wins; it’s all about the experience.

  10. LM

    Same issue at our house. Daughter is considering track (ha, the first after school meeting is in 1 hour!) I want her to be involved and try a new sport but OMG practice 5/week ending at very inconvenient times and MEETS omg the MEETS! I do NOT have time for this. But I sweetly encouraged her to go to the meeting and see how she feels about it. (please please please please opt out).

  11. Suzanne

    It’s so exciting to hear about Rob’s college application experiences and Elizabeth’s sixth grade track plans — but the whole time I am making a kind of perplexed face, like, are you SURE they are old enough for you to be talking about them this way? In my head, they must still be the same ages as when I discovered your blog… which was maybe ten years ago.

    It sounds like you have previous experience with endoscopy, but if you have ANY questions about what to expect let me know and I will grill my husband.

    And speaking of the endoscopy, I really really appreciate your gritty investigative journalism on behalf of all your readers.

  12. Cyn

    As a track mom to 4 runners, I’d encourage her to do it! Oldest started in middle school, did 3 years, and was kind of meh about it but went ahead and tried out in high school. We’re wrapping up 4 years of cross country, indoor track, and outdoor and she has blossomed! In fact, she’ll be continuing her running career in college come fall. Next oldest tried out in middle school, didn’t make the team but went out for it again freshman year of high school where you basically made the team if you showed up to over 90% of the summer conditioning. He was on the fence about it the entire year but did do cross country, indoor, and outdoor. I told him he didn’t have to do it again sophomore year. He decided to stick with it and like oldest child has grown so much more confident and happy! He enjoys the team aspect so much and has enjoyed seeing the improvements after all the hard work. Younger 2 did summer track for 2 years and liked it a lot the first year (competed at Junior Olympics!) but this past summer they did not have the best experience. We won’t be doing summer track again. Instead, we’ve plugged in to a local running club where they gather kids 5-14 years old together and do runs 2x a week at a park. They enjoy that! Middle girl is trying out for the middle school track team next week…we’ll see how that goes. That said, all the kids like to run and I love that they are active! Track meets are long drawn out affairs but some coaches are fine with your kid leaving after their event. My kids like to stay to the bitter end to cheer their teammates on so I typically bring a book to read to pass the time. The first few weeks of conditioning are hard but it gets better!

  13. Sarah

    My 13 y/o started Remicade infusions for her Crohn’s in January, and so far it has been great! Her flare stopped within a day of her first infusion, and she has stayed 90% symptom-free since. When we arrive for her infusion, i do have them give her a Benadryl, which supposedly helps with the itching that can arise at the IV site, and as a plus, she usually sleeps through the whole thing. I hope you guys have a good experience with whichever medicine he is switching to. [She is four infusions in and I still have an internal freak out that my kid has to go through this kind of scary ordeal. The results (so far) make it worth it though, and ease my fears as much as they can be eased, I suppose.]

  14. Teej

    Am I the only one who feels a little thrill every time you mention pokestops in your posts? Because I also play Pokemon Go. With probably too much interest/competitive feeling against my husband. I want to know: what team are you? What level are you? What pokemon are on your most-wanted list? (I am Mystic, just hit Level 26 yesterday, and I am still trying to complete my Gen 1 Pokedex and need more Seel, Grimer, Kabuto, Koffing so I can evolve Dewgong, Muk, Kabutop, and Wheezing. Oh and Omanyte to Omastar.)

    Neeeeerrrrrddddd! :)

    1. Swistle Post author

      MYSTIC HIGH FIVE. I’m Team Mystic, level 24. I get irritable with Paul because he is always a couple levels ahead of me (even now that the levels are SO MANY XP), but he acts casual as if he never really plays it. I don’t have any particular ones on my want-list, but I generally like the CUTE ones better than the SCARY ones. So for example, I am only half-heartedly looking forward to getting a Gyarados, but was VERY PLEASED to evolve a Nine-Tails.

      (I am picturing other commenters looking at each other wide-eyed and backing away slowly.)

    2. Angela (@Aferg22)

      Is Team Mystic the blue team? If yes, then my son (and my phone) are on your team! He was very excited over spring break that he now has 4 pokemon that have above 1000 CP. I have no idea which ones they are because I can’t remember their names, and he has nicknamed all of his. His pokedex has a Taylor Swift pokemon. He was playing while we were at a bar watching basketball, and the waiter started talking to him because he plays too. It was pretty funny, and now he has the status of the best waiter my son has ever encountered.

  15. Feisty Harriet

    My brother has Crohns, has had since his mid twenties, so a little different than Edward, obviously. He has the IV meds from the get-go, Remicaid I think was what it was called, and it worked so well for him! He had to slow down the drip speed to prevent weird allergic reactions, and he was always hopped up on Benadryl for 2 days before getting the treatment, but Remicaid did WONDERS for his energy levels and overall quality of life.

    Good luck to all parties involved (the IV parties, the college admission parties, and the possible track parties).


  16. Carla Hinkle

    I would encourage her to try track! Middle school is a great time to try new sports. It’s great for kids to try an activity outside their comfort zone. Physical activity is good! And also it’s a chance to maybe meet some other parents, which is not easy to do in middle school. If she hates it, she doesn’t have to do it again next year.

    My oldest tried track last year (6th) and she is not really a runner but she made some very nice friends and it was great exercise, and I also got to chat with other middle school parents at her new school. She decided not to run this year but it was still really a worthwhile experience. :-)

  17. Rachel

    I vote yes to track! I ran track in 6th-12th grades and it was so fun. I wasn’t amazing or anything, but I liked it and I liked my teammates and coaches. I was also on three cheerleading squads and took two dance classes a week. I loved staying busy, and I knew my days of organized sports weren’t going to last forever, so I really tried to make the most of it.

    I have a sister and five (!) brothers, and all but one also played three sports a year from elementary school on. We love sports, and they were some of the best parts of our entire lives. Three of my brothers were college athletes and made lifelong friends along the way. They also got grants and scholarships that helped pay for their education – bonus!

    I am sure my mom didn’t love driving all over the countryside going to games and meets and competitions, but I am not joking when I tell you she went to every single one. Sometimes, she would drive an hour to my meet, leave and go to my brother’s JV baseball game, and then leave and go to my oldest brother’s varsity game. All in one day. She was the ultimate supportive mom, and I cannot tell you how amazing that feeling was.

  18. Melissa Reed

    I had an endoscopy in 2011 and would be happy to answer any questions for you about what it was like.

  19. Jenny

    My husband has been doing well on Remicade (which I always think sounds sort of like lemonade) for several years now. His infusion nurse is really nice, and he just stays and hangs out on his phone or laptop for a couple of hours, or reads a book. He usually describes himself as feeling a little blah (which I think means tired and a little icky) the rest of the day after he has the infusion, and then he’s good to go for 8 weeks. It’s kind of like a miracle. I pink puffy heart modern science.

  20. StephLove

    I hope you get clarity on your health issue soon and that the new treatment works for Edward.

    I have a hint of the same feeling about June not getting into the humanities magnet middle school you have about Rob and college. Having been through it with one kid, I’m not sure she has the discipline it requires. She has a lot of extracurriculars and isn’t used to spending as much time on school as she would have needed to if she’d gotten in.

  21. Katie

    I recently had an endoscopy, and it was no sweat at all. The most painful part was getting the IV put in. Also, in the moment where the anesthesia is sent through the IV, it feels very strange – hot and cold, maybe? Or so cold it’s hot? Anyway, that is uncomfortable. But the next thing you know you are waking up in another room and it’s time to eat hospital jello. Then your husband takes you out to lunch because you haven’t eaten since dinner last night. I felt like I needed a nap that afternoon, but was otherwise totally fine.

    I also remember getting rejected from my top two colleges. I very badly wanted to go to my top choice and I was briefly devastated by my rejection, but even at the time, my disappointment was tempered by having already received a couple of very good acceptances at other places. And I quickly became able to see myself being successful in those other places. As long as he chose some second-choice schools that will suit him, my hope is that he’ll adjust to the idea of going to one of them quickly!!!

  22. BKC

    My kiddo has decided that she maybe is ready to, okay yes, definitely, but will it be hard?? start playing soccer. I would be quite happy to be a Sports Mom, but can’t she pick an indoor sport? Ugh.

    Also, she’s as old as Edward but I had her when I was as old as Rob, so your line about things working out just not as you expected is giving me All Teh Feels.

  23. Julia

    cross country and track are my favorite high school sports because the other kids are supportive and best of all, runners don’t generally drink and party. It’s a wholesome group overall and I encourage anyone interested to join.

  24. Ruby

    I’m with you and Elizabeth on the track indecisiveness. Extracurriculars are awesome! When I was growing up my parents made me do extracurriculars during the school year (they could be whatever I wanted, but I had to do SOMETHING), and I’m really glad they did. But there was always at least one extracurricular I was really excited about doing, and if Elizabeth is already getting tired of the pre-season practices…well. That is a huge time commitment for something she might not end up loving. Could she attend any more pre-season practices to get a better idea of whether or not she likes it? Is it an “if you don’t like it you can always quit” situation, or would she have to stick with it through the season? Or are there any other extracurriculars that she might enjoy more? Music lessons? Dance class? School play? A different sport?

    I am crossing my fingers for Rob! I find it helpful to think that getting a rejection from one school doesn’t necessarily increase the likelihood of getting rejected from other schools, since different schools look at different things. Some schools want students with high GPAs and test scores, some are more interested in community service/extracurriculars, some put a lot of emphasis on the personal statement, etc. So he might not have been right for that particular school, but he might be perfect for his first choice.

    I agree with what you said about things not working out initially but turning out to be better in the long run. It’s a hard lesson to learn, and I still have trouble with it sometimes! I didn’t get to go to my first-choice college (the worst part was that I GOT IN; my family just couldn’t afford the tuition), but it meant I could save enough money to go to a graduate school I was totally in love with later on. And it turned out to be a really great fit for me in its own way! But if you’d tried to explain that to high-school-senior me? Forget about it.

  25. Lisa Capasso

    Getting an endoscopy is very easy (way more fun than a colonosocopy!). Don’t eat anything the night before or the day of, you are put to sleep right beforehand, you wake up and it is done, little bit of time in the recovery room waking up. No drinking yucky stuff, no spending 12 hours in the bathroom. Very low level anxiety.

  26. rbelle

    I never did track (sports were fairly competitive at my school, and I wasn’t much of an athlete at that time), but my sisters went to a smaller high school where making a team was mostly a matter of showing up. One of them did run, but the other chose to focus on the high jump, because she, like me, kind of hates running. It was fun to watch her, and seemed like a more unique challenge. Now, Elizabeth might not have options other than running in middle school, but in case she sticks with it, I like that high school track has a lot of little sub-sports within it.

    Oh, and my niece did cross-country for a bit, but switched to lacrosse in her final couple of years of high school. I think she really liked it, and I like how it makes me think of Mean Girls.

  27. GoingLoopy

    I had an endoscopy. I don’t remember anything except them giving me some drugs. Also the techs were wearing these lead-lined cheerleader outfits. Afterward, I wasn’t really sure those were real, but I have since seen them on other medical professionals, so I guess they were. (It’s like a tunic and pleated knee-length skirt to shield from x-rays. ) Anyway, they’ll probably sedate you and you won’t remember it. Your throat will probably hurt a little after, which is a perfect excuse for ice cream of some sort.

  28. Sam

    I’ve been on remicade for several months. I feel pretty tired for about 24hrs after. The nurse gives me a bit of prednisone at the start to help with allergic issues (itching mentioned above). Other than the stress of your baby being stuck with an IV it’s really easy. I bring my laptop and watch tv. They feed me lunch. I get warm blankets if I want, etc. My friend with Chrons loves it and it helps him so much.

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